Like many of us, the small hero of John Bond’s début picturebook is partial to cake. But when Mother Rabbit’s plans to bake his favourite treat are thwarted by a lack of berries, Mini Rabbit heads off on an adventure of epic proportions in search of some.
Through fields and forests, over oceans and mountains, Mini Rabbit won’t be deterred from his mission to find those berries. What John Bond has perfectly captured here in Mini Rabbit is the essence of almost every young child; he is headstrong and tenacious, adventurous and vulnerable (and most notably, no amount of persuasion can encourage him to put on a coat).
This is a story filled with visual humour and beautiful illustrations. Each spread looks different to the one before as landscapes switch, and Mini Rabbit’s emotional journey hits highs and lows. Little ones will love to spot the pairs of eyes following Mini Rabbit from page to page, and more savvy children will be shouting out at the obvious signs of berries right under our hero’s nose.
What I love about this book is that it allows the little person at the centre of the story to undertake his quest without adult intervention (yet safe in the knowledge that help is never far away). He’s allowed to make his mistakes and learn from them. And when his single-mindedness eventually leads him to a place that doesn’t feel safe, he navigates himself home again, to the open arms of his loving mother.